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love and other things: a drama for flower clay and bone

Opera/ballet, 60', 2018

Music for 4 singers, 1 percussionist 1 performer and electronics.

Co-created with choreographer Tedd Robinson

Singers: Sarah Albu, Maude Côté-Gendron, David Cronkite and Vahram Sargissian

Percussionist: Matthias Soly-Letartre

Dancers: Paige Culley, Karen Fennell, Alanna Kraaijeveld and Riley Sims

Other performers: Tedd Robinson, Charles Quevillon

Production of 10 Gates Dancing inc.

An impressive array of artists—four dancers, four singers, a percussionist and a potter—investigates Love and other things. Created and directed by composer Charles Quevillon and choreographer Tedd Robinson, both of whom perform, this work seeks to reveal beauty through a series of abstract images comprised of curious dances, voices, textures and sounds. 

The inspiration came from wanting to do a sequel to the opera of  Mme Butterfly by Puccini. Although the idea was quickly dropped, it became obvious that the core of the project would be the theme of love and how one can pass through many different kinds of love in life. There is no story and almost no words in this project but mostly abstract sound and images that try to express three main types of love: Éros, Philia, and Agapè.


The writing for voice is particular and a bit unnatural since it is influenced by typical synthesizer technics (filters, octave shift, tremolo, etc.). Also, the piece is specifically written for the performers who created it and not for a conventional SATB 4 part ensemble, although the performer roughly corresponds to those voice types. This explains some extreme writing for the voice such as many high notes for the "soprano", an extremely wide range for the "alto", many vocal experimentations for the "tenor" and extreme profound notes for the "bass".


The few lyrics featured in this work include some quotations from the libretto of Mme Butterfly by L. Illica and G. Giacosa, some original text written by the composer, and a traditional French song titled "Oh Ursule".

Premiered at the National Art Center (NAC) in Ottawa (CA), (26.5-1.62018)


The project was realized with the financial help of  the Canada Arts Council's New Chapter's grant as well as the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec through a three-month residency in Tokyo Wonder Site (JP).


Interview with Tedd Robinson and Charles Quevillon 

First photograph by Maija Tammi

Gallery photographs by Rod MacIvor

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